Excellencies, Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Government of Turkmenistan for inviting me to address this International Conference, “Peace and Trust Policy – Basis of International Security, Stability and Development.”
Through collective efforts in Asia and the Pacific, our member States have made enormous progress reaping the benefits of durable peace, development, and human rights for all.
Since early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has shattered the hopes of billions of people while unleashing an unprecedented socio-economic disruption in the region and around the world.
To this growing suffering of people, we are also witnessing a deep divide in equitable access to lifesaving vaccination, diagnostics and therapeutics, which are further exacerbating fault lines of our societies.
Countries are grappling with shrinking economies, mounting debt; increasing inequalities and injustices; unabated degradation to the environment, natural ecosystems and biodiversity; rising geopolitical divisions and growing regional instability. Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals and addressing climate change became stagnant or even regressed. International resources for recovery are completely insufficient.
To recover better, stronger and smarter, we need five strategic policy areas and related regional cooperation frameworks:
First, we need to put the social protection system at the centre of this recovery. The Governments can restart their economies by providing universal access to vaccination and strengthening healthcare systems.
We need to build the resilience of education systems by incorporating digitalization while improving equity and inclusion in the delivery of public services for over 238 million people in North and Central Asia.
Second, let us continue to develop resilient supply chains, sustainable trade and investment, and trade digitization in the region. Trade facilitation initiatives could anchor around the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-Border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific.
Third, we must redouble our efforts to build sustainable transport, energy and ICT connectivity. I recognize several important initiatives in advancing subregional connectivity, along with the focus on integrated, sustainable, climate and disaster-resilient infrastructure development.
Fourth, we need to create enabling environments for financing sustainable development. Investing in a sustained and inclusive socio-economic recovery will require additional financial resources. We work with member States on enhanced Integrated National Financing Frameworks (INFF), financial inclusion and innovative financing tools such as thematic bonds to address post-COVID-19 financing needs.
Fifth, let us act now in safeguarding environmental health and raising climate ambition. We need to embed long-term sustainability in COVID-19 policy response and incorporate environmental sustainability into business investment and national planning processes.
Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
To move forward together, the United Nations Secretary-General’s report, “Our Common Agenda”, underlines four broad areas: (i) renewing of the social contract; (ii) focusing on the future generations; (iii) better delivery of global public goods; and (iv) ensuring a United Nations fit for a new era.
Peace and sustainable development are inextricably linked. Let us invest in our regional public goods by bringing together the spirit of mutual respect, innovation and cooperation.
The multilateral solution is the only pathway to create an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable development for all.
I take this auspicious occasion to congratulate the people and the Government of Turkmenistan on the 30th anniversary of Independence and the 25th anniversary of Neutrality of Turkmenistan and wish success to this conference.
ESCAP, together with the entire UN family, stands ready to strengthen our cooperation and coordination to “Building Back Together for Peace and Prosperity.”
Thank you very much.